Dublin: 210,000 People Now Can’t Pay Essential Bills: Survey

15 Apr

210,000 adults do not have enough income to cover essential bills, according to a survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions.

 Shopping - 210,000 can not cover living expenses

Shopping – 210,000 can not cover living expenses

210,000 adults do not have enough income to cover essential bills, according to a survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions.

The survey was conducted to try to find out how much money people have left to spend or save after they have paid normal ordinary household bills, like mortgages, heating bills and car loans.

It found that for 245,000 Irish people have nothing left to live on after they have paid their bills each month while 750,000 people have just €70 left each month.

People are also stressed out with worry about how they will cope if they have unexpected medical expenses or other unforseen bills.

Over 400,000 people believe there is no future for their families in Ireland.

NEWS UPDATE:

ONE-IN-FIVE people have just €70 disposable income each month after monthly bills are paid, a survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions has found.

The ILCU’s “What’s Left Tracker” also found that 80% of families are worried they will not cope if an unforeseen expense arose.

Revealing an increasingly pressurised and cash- strapped population, the survey also found more than a third of the people questioned also see no future in Ireland for themselves or their family.

Carried out across Ireland, the ILCU report also found that despite suggestions that saving levels have increased in recent years, almost half of those surveyed did not have enough money to save.

Other statistics from the survey included:

* As many as 735,000 Irish adults have just between 1% and 5% of their income left after paying essential bills.

* For 6%, or 210,000, Irish adults, income doesn’t even cover essential bills.

* A further 7% of those surveyed said they have nothing left to live on after paying essential bills.

* Just one-in-five of the people surveyed said they have enough to enjoy themselves each month.

Responding to the findings ILCU chief executive Kieron Brennan said it has become more and more apparent that many Irish families are seriously struggling in what are very difficult financial times.

“We have just seen an ECB rate increase last week which is likely to push families and individuals further into mortgage difficulties and arrears.

“In the meantime increasing mortgage rates combined with increasing fuel costs, the introduction of the universal social charge and cuts in social welfare means that 2011 will be one of the most difficult years for the Irish population in terms of money management,” he said.

The survey is the first of its kind conducted by credit unions and comes as consumers are being hit by rising mortgage, food and petrol costs.

Unsurprisingly, mortgage and rent are seen as the largest and most important bills for respondents. This is followed by utilities and groceries. Transport and car costs, loan repayments, credit cards and health insurance were all ranked at a similar level of importance.

The survey found too that 2.4 million Irish adults — more than two-thirds of people — said that their disposable income has fallen from this time last year. This is reflected by changes to tax charges and increasing utility bills and transport costs.

Director of MoneyCoach.ie Frank Conway said that over the course of the last three years, Irish consumers have seen their net take home pay “attacked savagely”.

“Incomes have been cut, bonuses and overtime have largely disappeared and jobs have been lost on a massive scale. We have huge unemployment problems as well as under-employment ones too.

“On top of that, as wages have been falling, inflation is again taking off and this is now creating a dangerous spiral of wage drops and price rises that will continue to strangle the financial well-being of consumers,” he said.

www.moneycoach.ie

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